×

Universal in Talks With Lego Group to Develop New Films Based on Toys (EXCLUSIVE)

Universal Pictures is in talks with the Lego Group to develop new feature film properties based on the popular block toys, numerous sources close to the pending deal told Variety.

Producer Dan Lin, who has made several films based on the childhood staple at Warner Bros., is expected to remain on future projects despite his overall deal at Warners.

The pact with Universal is a much broader use of the intellectual property than the previous films, sources said, which saw actors like Chris Pratt and Elizabeth Banks bring life to geometric heroes in a world populated by Legos.

Among the ideas Universal is floating is a reimagining of its own content library through the toys, sources said. “Jurassic World,” for instance, saw a spinoff Lego series made and sold globally in 2019, which aired in the U.S. on Nickelodeon. There are also concepts floating for live-action hybrid features.

A spokesperson for Universal had no comment. A spokesperson for Lego owner Kirkbi A/S did not immediately respond to Variety‘s request for comment.

At WB, Lin has shepherded the Lego franchise to over $1 billion in box office worldwide. The dedicated “Lego Movie” franchise saw a staggering domestic decline from the first to the second film — $105 million for the sequel down from the $257 million gross of the original.

Popular on Variety

The offshoot “The Lego Ninjago Movie” stacked up only $59 million in the U.S., but Will Arnett’s “The Lego Batman Movie” turned a healthy $175 million on an $80 million budget.

Under the Universal Pictures umbrella, now under the autonomous control of chairman Donna Langley who reports to new NBC-Universal CEO Steve Burke, Lego would join an animation stable including Chris Meladandri’s Illumination and DreamWorks Animation.

More Film

  • Evan Rachel Wood, Richard Jenkins and

    A24 Closing In on Miranda July's Sundance Player 'Kajillionaire' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Indie powerhouse A24 is closing in on worldwide distribution rights to Miranda July’s long-awaited third feature film “Kajillionaire,” insiders close to the deal told Variety, fighting off numerous other interested parties in a competitive situation. The Oscar-winning distributor is outrunning bidders including Bleecker Street, Focus Features, and Neon, source said. The deal that’s expected to [...]

  • Kevin Hart, Jason Statham Heading for

    Jason Statham and Kevin Hart Heading for 'The Man From Toronto' Comedy

    Jason Statham and Kevin Hart are in talks to star in action comedy “The Man From Toronto,” which Sony Pictures will release on Nov. 20. Patrick Hughes, who directed “The Hitman’s Bodyguard,” and “The Expendables 3,” will direct”The Man From Toronto” from a script by Robbie Fox, from a story by Fox and Jason Blumenthal. [...]

  • High Fidelity

    What’s Coming to Hulu in February 2020

    Next month, Hulu will ring in Valentine’s Day with some counterprogramming. The streaming service will debut its original series “High Fidelity,” a gender-swapped reimagining of Nick Hornby’s novel of the same name. Previously, the book was adapted into a 2000 movie from Stephen Frears starring John Cusack. Zoë Kravitz stars as Rob Brooks, a music-obsessive [...]

  • Wes Anderson

    Wes Anderson's 'French Dispatch' Sets Summer Release

    Wes Anderson’s star-studded comedic drama “The French Dispatch” will debut in theaters on July 24, Searchlight Pictures announced Wednesday. “The French Dispatch” is set in Paris during the 1950s and follows a group of journalists at an American newspaper bureau. The ensemble cast includes Benicio del Toro, Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Lea Seydoux, Frances McDormand, [...]

  • Hillary Clinton Hulu Documentary

    Hillary Clinton Documentary Sells to Sky for U.K. Audiences (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Hillary,” a four-hour docuseries about the life and career of Hillary Clinton, has sold to Sky for U.K. distribution rights, Variety has learned. Clinton sat down for 35 hours of interviews with director Nanette Burstein (“On the Ropes”). The project premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival to strong reviews, for offering an honest portrait [...]

  • Rhythm Section Movie

    Will Blake Lively's 'Rhythm Section' Fumble at the Box Office on Super Bowl Weekend?

    Ticket sales could grind to a halt over Super Bowl weekend, a notoriously quiet time of year at the box office. Two new movies are opening — Paramount’s spy thriller “The Rhythm Section” and Orion Pictures’ fantasy adventure “Gretel & Hansel” — though each is expected to make less than $10 million. Since the Super [...]

  • The Fight ACLU Documentary

    ACLU Sundance Doc 'The Fight' Headed to Magnolia Pictures

    Magnolia Pictures is wrapping up a low-seven-figure deal for distribution rights to the moving documentary “The Fight,” insiders told Variety. Premiering at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, the project is directed by Elyse Steinberg, Josh Kriegman, and Eli Despres. CAA and Submarine are brokering the deal on behalf of financiers. The directors also served as [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content